As Christian parents, Tim and I are continually having our minds graciously and lovingly renewed by God to His way of thinking. I’m not saying we have the number one, most biblical way of parenting thinking {insert *snort* here}…
 
…Rather, as we submit ourselves to our loving Father as our own children’s parents, we find Him offering new ways of thinking about our family, our children’s upbringing, and His way for us of “training our children in the way they should go” {Proverbs 22:6}.
The more we keep going on this parenting path, the more I know each family’s submission to God’s guidance will be different. And that is good! God loves variety! It is my responsibility to work in our family quietly, minding our own business and keeping our hearts from comparison.
“Jesus said, ‘If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.'” John 21:22 {emphasis my own}
With that preamble set, let me share with you a big decision we have made recently for our family which has been challenging; offering an opportunity to follow God’s direction in faith as it follows a different path that most families make in this day and age.
Last year, we enrolled Josiah into kindy. In NZ, kindergarten is a free-play environment that usually takes children from 3 until they go to school at 5 {though requirement of schooling age is 6}. The kindy we chose is truly amazing with incredibly supportive, skilled teachers and a wonderfully large outdoor area. This was a big for me as Josiah is an outdoor boy.

Aside from a few bumps, Josiah has thrived at kindy. He has grown out of his shell around people who aren’t his immediate family and he has learned to play alongside others really well. Yet, we noticed after the start of this year that, though he was doing really well while he was at kindy, that his behaviour at home had really changed.

We went through all the normal reasons that can cause struggling behaviour and felt that none of those really seemed to apply to him. We talked to his teachers and we talked to each other and we prayed a lot. Last week we decided that we were going to pull Josiah out of kindy.

It was such a hard decision and even now, with only a few lessons left for him, I still feel emotionally torn about it {though, when I calm my feelings and think deeply about the guidance we believe God has been giving us, my gut tells me it is the right choice}.

It’s been a lesson of learning that sometimes even really good things aren’t necessary the best things for us {at the time, in a season, or, forever}.

Kindy, in and of itself, is a great place for little children. It is nurturing, with smaller numbers and a million opportunities for growth and play, play, play. Playing is the key for a child learning is their philosophy {and I totally agree}. It has done Josiah a world of good. It has been good.

But, we have come to the conclusion that – right now – it is not the best for him. The best, that we can see, is for him to be with his family more. With times that he has had off of kindy this year {holidays etc.}, his behaviour/demeanour/attitude has been undeniably better, more stable and more loving. For some reason – and we really have no idea why – something that is good {kindy} just isn’t bringing out the best in him {at home}.

To some, this may be no big deal. But for us, home behaviour is everything. The saying that goes, “You really are who you are at home” is so deeply true. We can put on our “best” behaviour in public and then be just awful to those who love us most at home. Are we strict? Perhaps. We just believe that loving, disciplined yet authentic behaviour at home is the standard we are striving for.

There are seasons in life where, no matter the situation, we will have to make decisions based on how our priorities in life are lining up with where we are involved in. If our priorities align with our involvement in some commitment, church activity or other organisation, then that is really great. But if an involvement is causing issues that might allow us to compromise a priority or standard, some hard decisions may need to be made.

Even when, in many ways, you don’t want to make that decision. Or that, sometimes, there may be no clear right or wrong. Sometimes all you can do is pray, seek God’s guidance, analyse all the information you have before you, and make a choice. And then, step out in faith.

A child not going to some form of preschool or kindergarten is rare these days. We, again, are going to look different. {Sigh. Really, God? Again?} But we have to obey.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
 
Trust and obey, for there is no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
And it’s not just us, as parents, who want to be happy in Jesus. We want our children to have the ultimate joy of knowing and being happy in Jesus. And, because they are in our care, we have to trust and obey God, even when it bucks against the norm and requires hard, emotional choices for what is best, even if the second choice is still good.
 

In the comments: Have you ever made a decision that was hard because you had the choice of good and best?

9 Replies to “When Something Good Is Not The Best.”

  1. A mother knows best, especially if she is syncing up with the Holy Spirit. This reminds me of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” All three are good, but love is BEST. You are a great writer. ~Alice~

  2. Thank you, Alice, your comment was so encouraging to me this morning. It takes awhile, for me at least, to believe that a mother knows best when there is so much “specialised” information out there from parents, doctors, educationalists etc. But a mother and father, who prayerfully lean into the Lord, really do know best. Bless you for blessing me today!

  3. I see you headed toward homeschooling (loved your post last Tuesday Talk) and keep going with your gut. As long as you are walking with the Lord, decisions like this are lead by Him and an affirmation from Him! You will love having him home and no one loves our kids like we do – nor knows how to shape character like we want!

  4. I'm really beginning to see that now, and it is encouraging to know that God is guiding us as we seek Him. Thank you for your encouragement! So blessed to have such kind people to stop by x

  5. Sarah, when it comes to our children, we must always trust ourselves. The power of prayer assists us in following our best instincts I think. Bravo on doing what is best for Josiah. Mimi xxx

  6. My daughter was the same way at school. Turned out she has ASD and the stress of being at school was released in her safe place – home. We home educate now and her behaviour is fine. You might consider getting your lad assessed. God has ways of letting us know that what we think is good is not, as you have found, for the best – at least, not at this time.

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